UK bosses pan FCA plans to court Saudi Aramco

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The Institute of Directors have joined criticism of the FCA’s proposals to change listing rules in order to woo oil major Saudi Aramco.

The institute has gone public with its concerns in an “unusual intervention”, The Times reports.

The FCA announced this month it was fast-tracking a consultation on the listing rules, ahead of Aramco’s decision where to list.

The proposals state that a sovereign controlling shareholder would not be considered a related party and that controlling shareholder rules would not apply to companies in the new category.

The listing of the Saudi Arabian-controlled oil major could value it up to $2trn, making it the world’s largest company.

But IoD director-general Stephen Martin says at best the rules have been “formulated without regard to available evidence concerning state-owned or state-controlled enterprises” and at worst are an “opportunistic attempt at boosting short-term primary issuance”.

“Good corporate governance serves to enhance business performance, protect investors and maintain the reputation of UK plc and we do not believe the proposals in the consultation paper seek to strengthen these objectives.”

The Investment Association has already rejected the proposals saying they threaten minority shareholder protections.

However, TheCityUK has welcomed the FCA taking an “open-minded” approach to regulation.